The Frugal Cure-All: Homemade Chicken Broth


Did your grandmother swear by chicken soup for colds and flus?

For a while we, as a society, moved her suggestion to the “old wives’ tale” column. But as knowledge of nutrition grew, we started to learn that grandma was absolutely correct in knowing that chicken soup was truly a medicine in its own right!

This was exciting news for those of us who love natural remedies and are frugal-hearted. I would much rather feed my children warm, homemade broth than have them take over-the-counter medicine which is full of lots of icky, unknown chemicals that usually don’t work anyway!

This recipe is called “Perpetual Broth” because your slow cooker will be bubbling away all week long brewing up a batch of Nature’s All-Purpose Medicine. The author of Nourished Kitchen, where I got the recipe from, consumes a quart of broth a day.

She attributes her strong immune system to the broth. Her kids consume a lot of broth as well and she claims they are healthy and never sick because of the broth.

Bone broth is a cooking down of chicken, beef, or any animal bones. Through the cooking process, the bones release important and necessary minerals, amino acids, and glucosamine chondroitin.

These vital components are readily welcomed by your body and used in a variety of ways but the most notable is a “beefing up” of the immune system. With cold weather, holiday gatherings and flu season upon us, we could all benefit from extra protection against nasty germs.

Erin's homemade chicken bone broth is full of minerals and nutrients to chase away winter colds.

Erin’s homemade chicken bone broth is full of minerals and nutrients to chase away winter colds.

Last Sunday, I started my perpetual broth.

I defrosted one of our organic, homegrown chickens and plopped it in my slow cooker. To that, I added enough water to cover the bird, a handful of peppercorns, a good dose of fresh, chopped garlic, some freshly-dug carrots and broccoli stems we had shredded, and finally, a dash or two of Italian herbs. I let this concoction begin to boil and sputter.

The next day, I removed the chicken and pull off the moist, flavorful meat to use in the next two nights’ dinners. After getting all the meat off, I put the carcass back into the broth and there it has been since last week.

Everyday I scoop out cups of broth for my family. When I do that, I replace the liquid with fresh water so that I am continually replenishing the pot of broth.

Just a note: when you pour a cup you need to run it through a coffee filter or a sieve to catch all the veggie matter and herbs. This gives you pure broth!

The taste of the broth keeps getting better everyday! It is so rich and soothing. Instead of pouring a cup of tea or coffee, I started to pour a cup of broth during the day. It tastes so yummy and gives my whole body a sense of comfort and relaxation.

A soothing cup of homemade chicken broth.

Start your day with a soothing cup of homemade chicken broth.

One morning, I woke up with a slightly scratchy throat. I wasted no time to rush out and down an entire cup of broth. Within an hour, the sore throat was gone and I have felt great since then!

My boys love chicken noodle soup so having this broth on hand makes it very easy for me to whip up a batch of soup in no time flat. What a great afterschool snack!

The bones are now soft and I can easily break them. I read a comment on the original blogsite about taking the bones, grinding them, and adding them back to the broth because the marrow which is left is an added benefit. Using and consuming the entire chicken? Oh boy, that sounds like a frugalites greatest dream!

I think I’m going to try it just to see what it does and how it tastes. Any added nutritional punch is always a welcomed bonus in this house, especially if means saving money!

So, listen to your grandmother and eat as much chicken soup as possible, but save your pennies and don’t get it from a box! Make your own and reap the health benefits and the money savings.

Here’s to your health!


Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, sticking to a budget, and living sustainably in her blog archive. And be sure to check out the Missoula Save it Club.


Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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